Friday, August 22, 2014

Meat pie? No way!! Make room for Meat Cake!!!!

Yes, these pictures are fro a couple years ago, but I thought that since I started the day out with some stuff on one type of fusion cooking that I have done, that this would follow in the same vein of just out and out weird. 

This is a meatloaf layer cake with mashed potato frosting.  It is really simple, I use a pressure cooker to cook my Yukon Gold potatoes to mash, you don't boil them, they are pressure cooked in only a half cup water and when you mash the potatoes, you add that water back in so you aren't pouring nutrients down the drain as you do when you just boil them.  Then I like using a ricer, it makes the whole process easier, and cooking should be about fast, easy, convenient and utterly delicious.  And for me, unique.

Any way, mash your potatoes, here I added roasted garlic and cheese to them.  Then make some meatloaf and just pack the meatloaf mixture into cake pans. Bake until at least 160 in the middle.  Remove, cool a bit, then frost like a cake.  You want some weird looks when you serve this, you will get them.

And now for something completely different. Fusion

Alright, I admit it, I'm a little weird.  Well, some might disagree with that statement and claim that I am a lot weird.  Either way, I do like to question the norm, the staid tried and true, and let's face it, often times boring world of culinary experimentation.  There are some notable chefs out there that claim to expand and surpass the boundaries of the culinary experience.  And most of the time I look at their stuff and think, man, that's pretty tame.  I DO some weird and incredibly tasty stuff.  It sounds weird, but this little recipe today is just so unique, so over the top, so outrageous and soooooo delicious that you have just got to try it and you will say the same thing.

It starts with leftovers.  Hey, be creative.  This is made with some leftover corned beef and cabbage.  With my unique twist.  Here I found some large pablano peppers and just roasted them under the broiler although if you have a grill, feel free to do so.  When blackened all over, remove and put in a large bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  When cooled, rub the skins off the pepper.  Take a knife and make a slit in one side and whatever seeds are in it, rinse them out.  Now take leftover corned beef and cut into large cubes.  Cut the cabbage into bite size pieces and if you cooked potatoes with it, cut them up also.  Now, in the pepper, stuff some of each into it so that it is overflowing with the corned beef and cabbage.  Heat in the oven or microwave and squirt on some spicy brown mustard and some horseradish sauce.  Serve.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooking like a pro

Okay, so it might not be the dream of most everyone, have crowds of tuxedo dressed men and lovely ladies in evening dress all eating the food you have labored over for hours and enjoying it all immensely.  It really isn't my dream either, and it has only happened to me one time.  The work involved was tremendous, the reward was but a pittance.  However, the satisfaction was worth it all. 

Cooking for group events is still something I do for friends, and it is a lot of work, and still rewarding.  Those same techniques i use to cook for big events can still be used when cooking for yourself, your family, or your friends and for your own group events.  For me, there is no reason whatsoever to go to a fast food purveyor of high fat high sugar low or no fiber meals when anyone can be a great cook and make health and nutritious meals at home in little or no time.  My advice to everyone, use your freezer.  Make stuff, eat it, freeze the rest and eat it when you need to.  It's always better than the slop from the Gilded Arches. 

First off, so many people tell me that food that I cook, or food that they buy in restaurants is far far better in flavor than anything they can make at home.  Let me let you in on the one big secret that restaurants, well, good quality restaurants do that home cooks don't do.  They use spices, and they use a lot of them.  And they use fresh ones.  If the spices you have in your cupboard have been there since you moved into the house 8 years ago, they don't have any flavor.  Good restaurant chefs use so many spices and herbs that they never get old.  And they douse their food liberally with them.  And they also use a lot of salt.  That is one thing that I never cook with.  Once you start NOT eating a lot of salt in your food, it really opens up all the other flavors and those can be even more thrilling and exciting to your palate.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.  A week ago I cooked a bunch of food for an event for some
friends.  Not a lot, only about 50 people.  One of the items I made was lasagna roll ups. These are fun, very easy to do, can make a fantastic presentation of just be great for every day meals.  Some of my friends that were at the event, told me that these were some of the best things I ever made for them.  The secret, spices.  For these, I actually made them with Italian sausage.  They were for a group of friends that eat meat, not for me, so the menu was with a lot of meat.  Here's how they were done.  I first took 3 boxes of lasagna noodles and cooked them for 13 minutes, even though the box said to cook for 8 to 10 minutes.  I drained them, let them sit in cold water to cool them off and then drained again and just tossed lightly with olive oil so the wouldn't stick together.  Then I browned the sausage and drained it, made sure it was broken up into pretty small pieces.  Then in a large bowl I beat 6 eggs and added an entire bunch of Italian parsley that I chopped fine and 5 pounds of ricotta cheese.  Added in the drained sausage and 3 pounds of shredded Mozzarella cheese.  I mixed this in well and on a board I then would lay down one cooked noodle and spread some of the filling onto it on all but about 2 inches on the end.  I then rolled it up into a little roll and set it in a pan with a little sauce spread on the bottom.  After they are all done, more sauce and cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil on top and bake at 375 for an hour and a half.  Well, remember there are now about 12 pounds of them in the big pan.  The next thing here to look at and what it was that gave this all the flavor was the sauce.  I took a number ten can of crushed tomatoes and two 26 ounce cans of tomato puree and and added that to a stock pot in which I had taken a bottle of Merlot and brought to a boil with 1 and a half cups of my Italian spice blend, a cup of chopped garlic, a quarter cup of crushed red pepper and a half cup of dried parsley flakes.  I boiled the spices for about 2 minutes, then added the tomato products.  Brought it all to a simmer and used it to make the roll ups.  Easy peasy, quick and easy.  And the best I've ever done. 

Use a lot of spices, your system will love it, and you will soon get away from all the salt.

The next thing I made was a big hit as well.  Cheddar stuffed, bacon wrapped meatloaf bites.  Again, meat.  Not my thing, but I don't cook my food for my friends.  I've tried, meatless meatball sandwiches, stuff like
that and they all thought it was weird stuff.  But for this event, this was the bomb.  I have a nice helper, a big french loaf bread pan and that worked great to make the rolls.  I took a pound of smoked bacon and lined the pan with the strips just over lapping.  One pound for just about does the whole pan.  Then the meatloaf mixture was the easy part.  For a ten pound chub of 80/20 ground beef I took two one pound loafs of good real whole wheat bread I had baked and chopped fine in a blender.  These I did the day before and spread it out on a cookie sheet to dry.  Then I took 8 eggs and beat them with 2 cups of my Italian seasoning mix and a quarter cup of cayenne pepper and a bottle of beer..  Mixed in the ground meat well and started to make the rolls.  I just put a row of little balls of the meat mixture on the bacon and smashed them down into one long piece.  Then made an indentation down the middle.
  Next came the cheddar cheese.  I took 2 pounds of sharp cheddar in block form and cut it into long 3/8 inch cubes about 6 inches long.  Those go down into the indentation, and more meat mixture went on top.  Press that down and fold the bacon up over the meat loaf.  The you can sort of roll it out onto a long piece of foil, seal it up and place on large baking sheets and bake at 350 for about half an hour.  This just sets the meat up a bit and makes them easier to handle.  Let them cool in the fridge overnight and set up a cooling rack on a baking sheet and remove the foil from the loaf and place it on the rack with the folded ends of the bacon side on the rack.  Now bake them in a hot 425 oven for about another 45 minutes to an hour, or until the bacon starts to crisp up on the tops and sides.  The above recipe made 5 of these big meatloaves and I served them by slicing into inch and a half slices, about the width of each slice of bacon.  Then served with my Honey Bourbon Barbeque Sauce from my Frantic Foods business and everyone loved them.  Here's a couple shots of them in the process

  You don't have to go that big, but just make all your stuff with lots of spices and stop using the salt.
You know, I made a few other things for the event last week, but it just seems I get to working and i forget to take pictures of my stuff.  Some of the other stuff I made were jalapeno peppers that I cut in half and using a melon baller I scooped out the seeds and membranes and then stuffed with chorizo and pepper jack cheese.  Then I made corn muffins with cheddar and jalapeno peppers.  And one of the things I could eat was taking small Yukon god potatoes I sliced them in half and tossed with olive oil and fresh herbs then baked until well browned in a hot 450 oven.  Lastly I made home made ice cream that was flavored with Frangelico and had chocolate chips added to it.  That, was indeed my favorite.  Again, for five quarts of ice cream, I used a whole bottle of Frangelico to flavor it.  You have got to use a lot of spices, herbs and flavorings to get that restaurant taste.  I also use a lot of beer and wine in my cooking, especially when I cook for others, it does in fact add tons of flavor to anything you cook.

Don't be afraid to experiment, do fun stuff and above all else, eat healthy.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Meaning of Life

No, this isn't specifically about religion, I think I talked way too much about religion a few days ago, not the one about money (even though so so many people think of money as a religion) but this one about the purpose of religion , (Religion)

When most people think about life, they generally consider we humans as life on planet Earth.  And most people don't give a lot of thought to the rest of life here on this planet.  Who wants to think about the lower forms, snails, and gophers and wasps that sting.  Those are irritants. Most don't want to think that all that meat they consume from the Gilded Arches and other fast food places as actual life forms, if they did they would be shocked at how those life forms are raised.  Of course politicians pretty much equate the masses of humans in the same fashion.  Noisy, smelly, polluting the environment and good for one thing, burgers and votes.  Life exists here in a myriad of other forms, from the biggest, whales, to the tiniest, little viruses.  It's all life. 

Life is just a series of chemical reactions, governed by the properties of the basic laws that are absolutes in the universe, physics.  All life as we at this time know it, exists based on simple chains of chemical reactions that allow us to live, grow, procreate, and to think. Thought can be explained as a procession of events that are governed by physics as well.  Billions of neurons linked within a syntactic matrix of electrical impulses that allow the field mouse to be aware of night and day, to distinguish good seeds to eat from bad, and to stay out of the way to avoid predators.  It thinks, however rudimentary those thoughts are. Some humans prefer to believe that is just instinct, basic predetermined reactions that are part of the brain that is hereditary, and passed down from parents, to offspring.  The mouse is aware of its environment in ways that are certainly instinctive, however there is awareness.  Just as the pair of starlings instinctively chase the crow away from their babies in their nest, they have awareness to go back quickly to head off the crow's mate that tries to take advantage of their instinct to protect and left their nest unattended.  Both sets of creatures are using instinct, to protect, and to hunt, and awareness as well, to counter the actions of others  Humans think as well, on a very different scale, we have what we have termed, self awareness. When humans evolved to the point that feeding themselves was no longer the major use of their time, they became aware of themselves, and their world about them.  And after a bit of time, they asked of themselves, "Why are we here?"

Did you start reading this because you thought I had the answer?  I don't.  Personally I do look at the universe differently.  I look at life, on a larger scale.  The Dineh' believe that Mother Earth herself to be alive.  In one sense, it is.  There are complex chemical reactions going on with our planet, it changes daily.  Our home planet is a complex community of living things that draw sustenance from an ever changing and evolving substrate, the Earth itself.  And Mother Earth herself changes, it grows, it recedes, it breathes and is home to billions of varieties of lesser life forms, including man.  In that same vein of thought, our solar system itself is alive, moving, changing, creating new planets and destroying others in a vastly humongous system of chemical reactions all governed by the laws of physics.  Is it self aware?  How would we know, we don't have the capability to ask, nor to understand any sort of answer were one given.

From a conversation a few days ago I was told that there can't be any intelligent life out there in our galaxy anywhere because we haven't detected them yet.  And for there to be such advanced life, they would have had to go through the same evolution of technology that we have, and we would have found the detritus of their civilization, radio signals, that we have spewed out into the cosmos.  No signals, no life.  Concepts like that are unbelievably egocentric.  Why do you assume that life would evolve along the same path as we have.  Why do we assume that life is in fact carbon based, why not silicon, or for that matter, some gas.  And why do you assume that life elsewhere made all the mistakes and developed the same horrific attitudes about our superiority toward all other life forms that we have developed here on this planet?  The way we as a race think is that life in our universe MUST be in our form and have spent a great deal of their existence killing each other off and destroying the planet they live on.  If we think about not just Earth, but our solar system, and maybe even our galaxy as living growing, creative beings on massive scales wherein time has little meaning and those giant entities exist and our puny existence and shortsightedness would prevent us from seeing the reality of the life about us.  And prevent us from seeking to respond to the signals of life that we receive daily, and just don't understand.  The universe is populated by galaxies.  Are galaxies the purpose of life as they exhibit all the properties of life as we know it?  And we are thus little more than parasites within one solar system on one minor planet that gasps from the collective excrement of the parasites destroying the environment she has provided for them.  What's the meaning of life.  Again, we're here, deal with it.  And try to deal with it better than our predecessors.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Money money money money money money. Who, how, where, and the big one....Cancer

So who wins?  Who has the most money?  Well sure, ol' Bill Gates has mucho dinero.  And the Waltons, they got retail sewed up.  But for the new kids on the block, those wanting to go out and be the next Gates or Walton, where do they go?  You can't do as they did, no one can go out and start a software empire with someone else's operating system as Bill did, or start a new retail market and grow it into what Sam Walton did for his kids.  It just isn't going to happen.  So where do the newcomers go to make the most money?  Surprisingly, I'm not the only one to ask that question.  The financial analysts at Sageworks did some studies and found the top 10 most profitable industries for those wanting to be the next top dogs.  Number one, no surprise, law and lawyers.  Legal services.  really, not a surprise at all, very little cost, with very high returns on investments.  Well, shysters through and through.  But four of the top ten are money and financial services related.  Commercial equipment leasing is number four, with auto leasing as number 8.  Gas and oil is actually down there at number 5 and the tenth spot is support activities for mining.  That one probably doesn't include all the taverns and prostitutes, but then those are not actually on the list, but they certainly are a part of the category as stated in title heading it would seem to me.  But it's not my circus, so let's just go with actual physical mining stuff.  But there just below the middle of the list, is "medical services"  This includes dentists, hospitals, chiroquacks, and all the stuff that is necessary for the "practice" of medicine.  Now remember this list is about the most profitable industries, not the biggest companies with the biggest income.  That of course would be Walmart, with nearly 400 billion in sales they only had some 24 billion in profit.  Not exactly the most profitable.  And Exxon and all the rest of gas and oil, huge incomes, and some decent sized profit margins as well.  Of course US tax breaks along with their ability to hide profits in overseas "loopholes" make that industry incredibly profitable.  Not like being a lawyer, but then the sheer volume of income compared to shysters is off the chart. 

These lists made me wonder as to where the pharmaceutical industry was, as I was always under the impression that that industry was one of the more profitable industries around.  The thing is that they would normally be highly profitable and in the top ten except that lately the FDA fines and lawsuits for injuries from their desire to market their drugs before adequate testing is ever done on them has cut into the drug money profits so much lately as to reduce the industry as a whole from being very lucrative.

The medical profession and related services are the sixth most profitable "industries" in America today.  Now there is nothing wrong with making a profit, that's what the world is all about.  However, is making a profit by doing things that are in complete and total disharmony with what your stated purpose actually a good thing?  The stated purpose, cure the sick and infirm.  The reality, not so much trying to "cure" anyone as it is to treat symptoms of disease without ever really addressing the actual problems of the disease itself.  And yes, this is a generalization and doesn't include all doctors working diligently to cure serious maladies of the world but in fact covers MOST of the medical profession in their daily dealings with their customers, the general public.  Let me explain, if you were to go to your GP because you had a rash, your doctor would look at your rash and give you a prescription for a cortisone ointment or a corticosteroidal ointment.  Two different ointments that have marginal effectiveness against a few hundred of the more than three thousand different rashes that humans can get.  And sure, there are about twenty or so that are most common, and one or the other of those two ointments are effective for most.  And you might have about a fifty-fifty chance of him guessing correctly which ointment to prescribe.  If he's wrong, and you go back to see him again in a week with your rash even worse, then there is the other ointment.  That is the AMA proscribed methodology for treating symptoms of diseases.  The initial contact for any doctor is to prescribe medication to treat a Symptom, and not to address the actual disease causing the symptom with the hope of that working.  Do you know why Lyme disease is on the rise in America today?  Because doctors utilize this very specific methodology for diagnosis to treat symptoms, not the underlying cause.  It doesn't always work.  And quite often, as it did in my particular case, the AMA method just leads to exacerbation of other problems and as the treatments get more intense, the resulting problems become greater and more varied as ever greater and more toxic drugs with wilder and more harmful side effects are visited upon your person.  And of course there is always the other problem of just being in a medical facility you are exposed to what is fast becoming a scourge on America, antibiotic resistant bacteria.  But as long as the doctors follow AMA guidelines and treat your symptoms, as those become greater and more varied and intense as they treat the side effects from their earlier treatments, then it is pretty hard to sue them for malpractice because they followed AMA procedures.  They didn't treat your disease, or in my case the actual causes of those symptoms, they only treat symptoms.

Sometime do a search for the cause of cancer.  There are no known specific causes as to why cells turn cancerous.  Well there are some theories with the biggest being genetic propensity, but no known causative factors.  Now, along that same line of thinking, let's look at what the FDA says about vitamins, "... statements that supplementation with vitamins claim to prevent or cure any known disease cannot be made, those claims can only legitimately be made for approved drugs."   So the FDA is on board with the AMA.  Both do not want anyone to ever think that taking a vitamin supplement could in anyway help prevent or cure any disease.  Actual pharmaceutical made drugs can only do that.  Even though so much of drug company profits go into paying lawsuits to people harmed by their products as we learned a little earlier.  So, back to the internet, search for free radicals and cancer.  Now we see that free radicals within our bodies play an enormous role in the growth of cancer cells.  Scientists don't at this time think that having large numbers of free radicals in your bloodstream actually cause the cancer to begin, but they do cause it to grow at accelerated rates.  So, how do you rid your body of free radicals?  Well, you consume foods or supplements that are antioxidant in nature.  Ooooohhhh, that is sort of contrary to the set guidelines from the AMA and completely against the mandate and policy of the FDA.

Depending on who you want to believe and where you look, over 600,000 people die annually from cancer.  Cancer as an industry brings in from 200 to over 600 billion dollars annually.  That's a lot of money.  With over 260 tax exempt organizations and research facilities working to find a cure, not one has ever published any reports that eating a balanced diet with supplementation with antioxidants will do anything other than make you feel better during standard traditional treatments approved by the AMA.  The stated AMA purpose of good nutrition is to help make you stronger so that you can better survive their traditional approved therapies.  That sort of goes back to the above where the AMA therapies cause ever more serious and greater complications.

I'm never going to state that diet can cure cancer.  I'm never going to state that diet is the primary cause of cancer, we do know that genetics plays a role.  But I'm never going to believe every single thing that doctors and the AMA along with the FDA tell me about cancer, nutrition and traditional as well as experimental treatments.  Not when this simple fact about antioxidants is so blatant.  this doesn't even address all the other non-traditional therapies for cancer that have been suppressed by the AMA and FDA in the past simply because there is no money in eating a healthy diet. 

Think outside the box, especially when the box is made of greed and thinly veiled lies.

Me on Cancer  (Cancer 1) (Cancer 2) (Cancer 3) (Cancer 4)